The Passions of the Wise: Phronêsis, Rhetoric, and Aristotle’s Passionate Practical Deliberation

Review of Metaphysics 56 (2):267 - 296 (2002)
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According to Aristotle, character (êthos) and emotion (pathos) are constitutive features of the process of phronetic practical deliberation: in order to render a determinate action-specific judgement, practical reasoning cannot be simply reduced to logical demonstration (apodeixis). This can be seen by uncovering an important structural parallel between the virtue of phronêsis and the art of rhetoric. This structural parallel helps to show how Aristotle's account of practical reason and deliberation, which constructively incorporates the emotions, illuminates key issues in contemporary democratic theory concerning deliberation at the political level.



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Arash Abizadeh
McGill University

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